Grants, and Hope, for Women's Organizations
December 9, 2011
Six months ago, the Women's Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County published a bleak report card on conditions for women and girls in Monterey County: a 13.5-percent income gap, weak high school and college graduation rates and continuously high rates of violence against women.
Now the group has started taking action. The Women's Fund on Wednesday announced $75,000 in grants to six local non-profits, all dedicated to improving prosperity for women. This brings the total awarded since 2007 to $225,000.
“We know that when women thrive, families thrive, and when families are healthy, communities flourish. These grants will help low-income women on the road to economic self-sufficiency by supporting post-secondary education, financial literacy and business development,” said Julie Drezner, vice president of grants and programs at the Community Foundation.
"Women really are the working poor in our community,” Drezner says. One in three woman-headed households in Monterey County lives below the poverty line, and the organization strives to support grassroots groups that are helping women sustain livable wages and pursue higher education.
The focus on economic prosperity aligns with the group's other major emphasis: empowering young girls, which has started with a push for healthier school meals.
The recipients of this year's grants are Community Human Services, Hartnell College Foundation, Monterey Peninsula College Foundation, Natividad Medical Foundation, Youth Arts Collective and the YWCA of Monterey County. The two colleges will use their grants to help advance women who may be single parents or re-entering college and in need of childcare or financial aid.
The Youth Arts Collective received $10,000 to mentor young women artists. YWCA will use their $,9.000 award in collaboration with El Pajaro Community Development Corporation to expand their existing women's self-sufficiency program, aimed to create and guide women entrepreneurs.